High life

Bravo, Pablo

New York Talk about synchronism. The invitation to the launch of John Richardson’s A Life of Picasso arrived the same day as Peter Arnold’s letter concerning the artist. Volume III, 1917–1932, was reviewed by William Boyd on 3 November, in these here books pages. The novelist loved it and eagerly awaits more. I like John

Low life

Poetry, please

Last Saturday I was sitting at the kitchen table ready to go out for the evening, when I heard at the tail end of a radio news bulletin that the English poet Vernon Scannell had died. The name rang a bell. I went to the bookshelf and, yes, there was Vernon Scannell’s Collected Poems 1950–1993,

Slow life

Space invader

Soon we will live on Mars. There is no doubt about that. Space is the great adventure of this millennium. It’s growing more rapidly as a place of business than China or India. It just needs its Damien Hirst. One peerless and fearless luminary who can make us all realise how much we need a

More from life

Double tragedy

It was as if we’d never been away for the Flat season. On Paddy Power Gold Cup day at Cheltenham Tony McCoy, implacable in his concentration, pale-faced as a cadaver, wearing about him an aura of resolution the way others trail clouds of aftershave, rode the first two winners. As if to remind us what

Spectator Sport

Words of Wooldridge

Sportswriting lost a glistening luminary when Ian Wooldridge died at 75 last spring. In four decades he produced more than seven million words for the Daily Mail which, aware of his unmatchable worth, rewarded him and his expenses chits with grateful generosity. It was never necessary for Ian, as it was for his impoverished peers,

Dear Mary

Your problems solved | 24 November 2007

Q. I am a fan of The Archers but my listening pleasure always dips whenever one of the villagers makes the offer of ‘a coffee’ to another Ambridge resident. I feel the producers of the soap are failing to serve their loyal audience as it deserves, and are also missing an audio trick, in that



My partner has bought a wood. Seriously, he has. He simply came home one day and said, ‘I have something to tell you.’ Oh good, I thought, he’s leaving me. Now at last I can get on with my life. ‘I’ve bought a wood,’ he said. My partner likes the outdoor life and camping. He’ll

Mind your language

Mind your language | 24 November 2007

Although a badger does not hibernate in the true sense of the word, it lies low for long periods in winter, just as my husband does, stirring only (in his case) to fetch the whisky bottle. He is, I have long suspected, a sort of shape-shifter, but turning neither into anything alarming like a werewolf